House of Fraser is to trial a new ‘virtual queuing’ system for customers waiting to collect from its Buy & Collect service.
Customers using the system will check in from self-service kiosks in the Buy & Collect department of its London City store, where it is being trialled, in order to enter the virtual queue. They’ll get a text message telling them how long the estimated wait is, and can check progress through a link in the message.
While waiting they can browse the store rather than standing in a queue. Meanwhile, the retail staff can pre-prepare their orders for collection, with the aim of improving customer service.
Andy Harding, executive director of multichannel at House of Fraser, said: “We’re extremely excited to be trialling this innovative virtual queuing solution at our London City store. This is a new technology to the retail market and it demonstrates our strategy to continually evolve and differentiate our customer service offering.”
He said the London City store had been chosen for the trial because it has longer queues at peak times, since many workers in the area shop online.
“Early signs are,” he said, “that customers enjoy the experience and prefer to be given the option to browse the store or enjoy a coffee rather than wait in a queue. Following the trial we will use the feedback gained from both customers and staff to develop the experience before implementing the service across the portfolio.”